London: George Thompson, 1647. First Ussher edition of Saint Polycarp’s (69-155 A.D.) letters, revised and edited from previous corrupted texts, finely printed and highly regarded. It contains Ussher’s long essay, and is divided into five sections with the cancel title-page, as described in ESTC. Sections 1-4 were salvaged from an edition that accidentally burnt in a fire while being printed by Lichfield in 1642. The remainder of the book, including the title-page, was printed by Henry Hall, the whole completed in March 1645. It also has two additional Usher works bound in at rear, which were originally issued together. Vignette title-page, woodcut head and tail pieces and initial letters. Latin and Greek text printed in two columns. Vignette title-page for Appendix printed in black-and-red, some of the text printed in red as well. Small closed tear to middle of pp. vii-viii with loss of a few letters and pp. xv-xvi with only partial loss. Light foxing, the occasional minor smudge or stain, some light dampstaining to lower portion of leaves in last few gatherings, touching text but not affecting legibility. A very good copy. Modern quarter calf over marbled boards, gilt-spine in six compartments, new endpapers. Seven parts in one volume, quarto. . , cxlvi, [1, addenda], [1, blank], 243, [1, blank], , , 53, [1, blank], , 39, [1, blank], , [1, blank], 132 pp. Item #16564
Bishop James Ussher (1581-1656) was the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland from 1625 to 1656. He is best known for his identification of the genuine letters of church father Ignatius and for his chronology of the world’s creation stating that man was created in 4004 b.c. in one of his last published works, Annalium pars posterior (1654); despite the fact that his chronology is not taken seriously today, Annalium gained the most international recognition of all his writings. Ussher made significant scholarly contributions and was also a noted manuscript collec.